Educator Preparation Institute

Educator Preparation Institute (EPI)

EPI overview

If you already have a four-year college degree in a non-education field, you can begin moving toward teacher certification.

According to the Florida Department of Education, the state will need to fill 17,000 to 23,500 classroom teacher positions per year between now and 2027. However, the number of graduates exiting traditional college of education programs across the state of Florida is only around 10,000 per year. In an attempt to address this gap, GCSC has partnered with Bay, Gulf and Franklin County Schools to offer the Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) and a "Transition-to-Teaching" program.

Our "Transition-to-Teaching" program puts you on the path toward teacher certification and possible employment in K-12 schools. If you are already teaching under a three-year temporary certificate, the EPI can assist you in completing certification requirements.

The EPI program consists of nine classes and is offered in two formats: 1) hybrid, and 2) distance. The hybrid program contains a mixture of online (internet/web-based) assignments and once monthly face-to-face traditional Saturday classroom sessions.  If you choose the distance format, you are provided with electronic access to all course materials and are required to complete all assignments submitted in the face-to-face sessions.  In order to participate in distance option, you must have approval from an EPI advisor. The EPI Field Experience can only be completed in one of our approved school districts in Northwest Florida. 



Kesia Milner

“The EPI program enabled me to make a meaningful career change. This experience provided the tool set necessary to succeed in today's classroom and make a positive impact within the community. I'm thankful for the opportunity I've had to develop into the professional I am today.”  

Kesia Blenn Milner
Art Teacher, Springfield Elementary
2016 Bay District Teacher of the Year
2012 EPI Graduate

EPI Initial Entry Requirements

  • Application and initial acceptance into EPI program
  • Transcript documenting Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution (minimum 2.5 GPA)
  • Cleared Level 2 background clearance
  • Application to GCSC
  • Completion of New Student Orientation, with submission of all required documents
  • Application to Florida Department of Education for teacher certification (Statement of Eligibility/SOE)

 full admission and financial aid

For you to be able to use any financial aid for the EPI program you must be fully admitted into the EPI program. This requires that you have one of the following:

1.  a passing score on the subject area exam


2.  an "eligible" Statement of Eligibility (SOE) from the Florida Department of Eduction.

If you have questions, you can contact the Financial Aid office at 850-872-3845 or visit the GCSC Financial Aid webpage.

This program is designed for

  • Individuals holding a non-education four-year degree and are interested in a teaching career
  • Currently employed teachers on a temporary certificate, attempting to meet professional certification requirements.

Note: Only The Florida Department Education can determine your certification requirements. Certification requirements are determined by FLDOE, not GCSC. Visit to learn more.

Space is limited - Apply today!

Contact an EPI Advisor

Teresa Salter
Asst. Academic Program Coordinator
Social Sciences, Room 229 
850-769-1551 ext. 3393

Patricia Schenck
Academic Program Coordinator 
Social Sciences, Room 227